What does Christmas mean to your cross-generational friend? Find out what memories (good or bad) your friend has of this season. What traditions are meaningful, or not? Be ready to see this season differently, from the perspective of a generation so different from your own.
What’s on your friend’s mind about the whole concept of gifts and giving this season? What kind of gift or giving is most meaningful to your friend? How has your generation demonstrated giving in either positive or negative ways to your friend’s generation? What constitutes a meaningful gift?
Since this is a month of tradition—a big holiday full of traditional foods—try talking about and sharing a favorite tradition with your cross-generational friend. Invite them to make an old family recipe with you. Watch your seasonal must-see movie together. Take your friend snowmobiling. While you do the activity, try to talk about traditions. Are they valuable to your friend? Why or why not?
Last time you chatted with your OCG friend (if you had a chance to do so), you talked about commitment. On a similar note, this week, ask your cross-generational friend to talk about the word “discipline.” Is that a good or a bad word? Where does your friend experience success or difficulty with personal discipline? How much of this is generational? How can your generation help or hinder your friend’s generation with discipline? Aim to hear and to learn!
Mentoring is inevitable. It happens as friends talk, as parents spend time with their kids, as Uncle Bernie takes little Corey fishing, as the boss shows the employee how the new laser printer works. Other times it’s more structured and focused on personal growth. Both are good. At Entrust, we love mentoring and see it as key to our mandate to multiply leaders for multiplying churches. If you’re eager to be mentored in your walk with Christ, consider author Randy Alcorn’s five practical steps for getting started. And don’t be surprised if somewhere along the way, someone asks you to mentor them!
Whether you’ve been hanging out regularly with your cross-generational friend or are just getting started on this thing we call Operation CrossGen, no matter. Jump on in now. Get with someone of a different generation than your own and have conversation about commitment. Find out what/who your friend feels committed to, how they define that word. Where have they seen positive or negative examples of commitment? Ask, listen and seek to understand. Don’t fix!
Last time you hung out with your cross-generational friend, you asked him a lot of questions about technology. Pick up where you left off. How about asking her to teach you something? Your friend might be able to answer some of your Facebook, email, Photo Shop or Power Point questions, help you set up an Instagram or Twitter account, teach you a thing or two about auto mechanics, carpentry, gardening, electricity, sewing, food processing. Every generation has an area of expertise. Discover your friend’s expertise!